Smoking dope – Marijuana users debates warnings about the drug

By Rebecca Moase
Jan. 21, 2015

John Doe rubs his hands together, trying to warm up as he enters his house after smoking a joint outside.
“I love weed,” said Doe (not his real name).
For most of his life Doe has had an anxiety disorder that keeps him from living a normal day-to-day life.
“I used to not eat. I never could go to school. Never could concentrate,” he said. Doe, who is 5’11, used to weigh 120 pounds, he said.
“It was unhealthy.”
He started smoking when he was seven years old. It took him 10 years to get a medical marijuana card.
“Now I weigh 215 pounds. I got 90s all through high school,” Doe said.
Doe said the research he read about smoking marijuana led him to conclude that weed doesn’t really negatively affect your brain.
“It all depends on who you want to listen to whether it be Swedish or German (researchers), everyone has their two cents and everyone … pitches it in.”
There is research that shows people who smoke marijuana have more grey matter, which means their brains age at a faster rate, Doe said.
“There is other research that says for what people lack in that (white matter) there’s this other thing to make up for it.”

Doe supports the Liberal party’s recently announced position to legalize medical marijuana.
“I think they should legalize it and do it like alcohol and tobacco, put an age restriction on it,” he said.
Cari-Ann Hadley Gallant, a mother from Summerside, doesn’t think marijuana should be legalized.
“I don’t think they should legalize it because it then gives people an excuse to say they need it,” she said.
Legalizing it isn’t going to keep most youth from doing it, she said.
“They (teenagers) do it because their parents don’t want them to do it. It doesn’t matter if it’s legal or not, if their parents don’t want them to do it they’re going to do it.”
It will open too many doors, she said.
“Where is the legal limit for it? Everyone is different, it’s the same as alcohol.”
How they plan to control the existing growers on P.E.I. is something she wonders, Gallant said.
“How do they control something like that?”
Everybody will want a license and there will be no money in growing it, she said.
“One person does it then everybody does it.”
Doe said he wouldn’t grow marijuana on P.E.I. because it is too close to the sea and would make it really salty.
“I like it a little farther inland. The best pot in the world comes from B.C. and A.B.”
Growing it in a marsh is his favourite, Doe said.
“It gives off the same nutrients that the marsh has.”
Wayne Easter, Liberal MP of Malpeque, said roughly 57 per cent of the population uses marijuana in one form or another, and people are getting a criminal record over one cigarette.
“The party’s position is that we would legalize marijuana and try to take the criminal element out,” he said.
The current laws weren’t working, Easter said.
“The police are not enforcing the law anyway,” he said.
Whether or not there is a health concern is something that will be raised by quite a few people, Easter said.
“I think we definitely have to look at the factors related to marijuana. There is evidence both ways,” he said.
“It wouldn’t happen tomorrow even if we were the government,” Easter said.